Canada’s Cleantech Conundrum: Questions We Must Answer by 2024


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As 2024 approaches, Canada’s Cleantech sector is poised for transformative growth. But what are the challenges, opportunities and pivotal questions that will shape the future of our clean energy transition? And has the Inflation Reduction Act threatened Canada’s clean technology aspirations for 2023 and beyond?


  1. How Has the Cleantech Sector Evolved Since 2019?
  2. Electric Motors — Which Climate Technologies Will Define 2024?
  3. EV Adoption Pushes to 20 Million — Is the EV Revolution Expected to Continue?
  4. How Will the Inflation Reduction Act Impact the Canadian Cleantech Industry?
  5. What Barriers Must Cleantech Break Down?
  6. Can Cleantech Compete for Top Executive Talent in a Crowded Marketplace?

How has the Cleantech sector evolved since 2019?

The journey of Canada’s Cleantech sector since 2019 has been marked by rapid evolution and growth. As the world grapples with the urgent need to combat climate change, Cleantech has emerged as a beacon of hope. But as 2024 looms, the sector stands at a crossroads.

Energy transition is more than just a shift from fossil fuels to renewables; it’s a complex dance of innovation, investment and societal integration. For Canada’s Cleantech to lead, it must not only address the inherent challenges of renewable energy but also strategically invest in its future. The stakes are high, encompassing technical performance, cost-effectiveness, and the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This involves not only technological advancements but also understanding the socio-economic implications of  such a transition. Navigating the intricate policies, understanding regulatory challenges, and setting ambitious targets will be crucial. These goals should encompass not just environmental benefits, but economic impacts, indigenous reconciliation and job creation as well.

Electric motors — which climate technologies will define 2024?

The horizon of 2024 promises a slew of transformative climate technologies. The transportation sector, for instance, is on the cusp of a revolution. Electric vehicles, once a niche market, are poised to become mainstream. Powered by breakthroughs in battery technology, their affordability and range are set to increase, making them a viable alternative for many Canadians. The potential of hydrogen fuel cells, offering zero-emission with fast refueling times, further adds to the excitement.

Beyond transportation, the energy that powers our homes and businesses is also evolving. Solar and wind power, already significant players, are set to grow even more dominant, while marine energy systems have begun cresting as the next wave in renewables. However, the real game-changer might be energy storage solutions. As these technologies advance, they help to address one of the primary criticisms of solar and wind energy.

Electric motors, integral to the functioning of EVs and many other applications, are pivotal in the clean energy transition. Their efficiency, coupled with a reduced environmental footprint, makes them a preferred choice over traditional combustion engines. As the demand for electric motors grows, so does the need for innovations in design, performance, and cost-effectiveness. As climate tech becomes increasingly mainstream, electric motors will play a significant role. Their potential extends beyond just transportation, into the broader energy landscape, powering homes and businesses.

Carbon capture, too, holds immense promise. As industries grapple with their carbon footprints and net-zero goals, advancements in capturing and storing CO2 could be an important part of the solution. Meanwhile, the circular economy, with its emphasis on reducing, reusing, and recycling, offers a sustainable blueprint for growth, touching everything from manufacturing to consumer behavior.

EV adoption pushes to 20 million — is the EV revolution expected to continue?

The transportation sector, particularly the electric vehicle (EV) segment, has been a poster child for the Cleantech industry. Since 2019, the rise of EVs has been nothing short of meteoric. As we approach 2024, the question arises: Can this momentum be sustained?

Canada’s Cleantech industry knows that societal buy-in is paramount to being successful. For EVs to maintain their growth trajectory, the industry must remain mindful of the socio-economic dimensions.

There will also be substantial innovation and commercial opportunities for those developing businesses that complement, augment and support an increasingly EV-dominant world.

The prospect of 20 million EVs on the road by 2024 is both exciting and daunting. While it signifies a massive win for the environment, it also poses challenges in terms of infrastructure, energy supply and maintenance. The Cleantech industry, in partnership with policymakers, must address these challenges head-on to ensure a smooth transition. Ambitions shouldn’t be limited to simply increasing EV numbers;  it should also focus on broader goals like support technologies, emission reductions, economic impacts and workforce development.

How will the Inflation Reduction Act impact the Canadian Cleantech industry?

The US Inflation Reduction Act has significantly altered the global climate policy terrain, compelling nations to re-evaluate their climate strategies and their economic viability in an increasingly decarbonized world. This legislation, representing the most ambitious climate investment in US history, earmarks a staggering US$370 billion over a decade to expedite the country’s energy transition. It encompasses a plethora of tax incentives, grants and loans for clean technologies, targeting clean tech manufacturers, households transitioning to electrification, and communities embarking on adaptation projects. The Act’s overarching goal is to slash US emissions to 40% below 2005 figures by 2030, stimulate the creation of green jobs, and curb inflation.

However, this American initiative has placed Canada in a unique quandary. Historically, the absence of robust US climate measures has been cited to counter the push for aggressive policies in Canada. Yet, with the introduction of the Act, Canada finds itself grappling to keep pace with its principal trading ally. The absence of analogous commitments from Canadian authorities could potentially deter investors and project developers, redirecting them southward. This would jeopardize Canada’s aspirations to woo the essential private capital required to decarbonize its economy and achieve its 2050 net-zero objective. Nevertheless, the US legislation might also unveil export prospects for Canada, especially in sectors like electric vehicles, batteries and construction materials.

In response to the Inflation Reduction Act, Canada faces a trifold path. To begin, it can bolster existing policies, leveraging instruments like carbon pricing and regulations to their utmost potential. Secondly, it can emulate the US by announcing substantial subsidies for clean energy and technology, ensuring Canada remains an attractive hub for international transition capital. Lastly, a more nuanced approach involves a blend of strengthening current policies and selectively subsidizing specific technologies or projects. 

As the reverberations of the Inflation Reduction Act continue to resonate across Canada, the nation stands at a crossroads, balancing the urgency to act with the perils of hasty decisions. The future of Cleantech in Canada, inextricably linked to global legislative shifts like the US Inflation Reduction Act and the EU’s Net-Zero Industry Act, hinges on the choices made in the imminent future.

What barriers must Cleantech break down past 2023?

Despite its promise, the Cleantech industry faces significant barriers. Funding remains a persistent challenge. Cleantech innovations, especially those in the early stages, require substantial financial backing. Traditional funding mechanisms might not always be a good fit, necessitating innovative financing solutions.

Regulatory barriers, too, can be daunting. The Cleantech sector operates at the intersection of technology, environment and policy, making it especially susceptible to regulatory changes. A stable and supportive regulatory environment is crucial for long-term growth.

Market adoption is another challenge. Despite the increasing demand for sustainable solutions, the Cleantech industry often faces resistance from traditional industries and even from consumers. Overcoming this requires not just technological innovation but also efforts to educate and engage various stakeholders.

As Canada marches towards 2024, the Cleantech industry’s trajectory will be shaped by its answers to these questions. The nation’s climate ambitions hang in the balance. The challenges are significant, but so are the opportunities. With the right mix of innovation, policy support and societal engagement, Canada’s Cleantech industry can lead the way into a greener, more sustainable future.

Can Cleantech compete for top executive talent in a crowded marketplace?

In the high-stakes game of global innovation, talent is the most coveted asset. As the Cleantech sector burgeons, there’s an escalating demand for visionary leaders who can steer companies through both turbulent waters and uncharted territories. But how does an emerging industry like Cleantech attract top-tier executive talent in a market where the allure of established giants, especially Big Tech, is so potent?

Firstly, it’s essential to recognize the nature of the competition. Big Tech, with its deep pockets, established brand names, and promise of stability, offers a siren song that’s hard for many executives to resist. These companies offer not only lucrative compensation packages,  but also the allure of working at the forefront of technology and societal influence. For many star candidates, the prestige associated with these tech behemoths is a significant draw.

However, Cleantech has its own set of unique selling points. The industry offers the chance to be at the vanguard of a movement that’s not just about profit, but also about purpose. For executives driven by a desire to make a tangible difference in the world, Cleantech provides an opportunity to meld professional ambition with personal values. The challenge lies in effectively communicating this vision and potential.

Moreover, the Cleantech sector, being relatively nascent, offers a different kind of allure: the thrill of the unknown. While Big Tech companies often have established hierarchies and processes, Cleantech firms offer the chance to build something from the ground up. Many executives, especially those with an entrepreneurial bent, will find this an irresistible proposition.

Yet vision and potential won’t be enough. The Cleantech industry must also be prepared to invest in its leaders. This means not just competitive compensation, but also opportunities for professional growth, mentorship, and a seat at the table when it comes to decision making. After all, high value talent is often driven by more than monetary rewards; they seek influence, challenge, and the chance to leave a legacy.

In conclusion, while the competition for executive talent is fierce, the Cleantech sector is by no means out of the race. By leveraging its unique strengths and understanding the motivations of  top-level candidates, Cleantech can position itself as an attractive destination for those looking to shape the future.


  • The Cleantech sector is poised for transformative growth as we approach 2024.
  • Electric vehicles and renewable energy sources are at the forefront of this transition.
  • Challenges like supply chain disruptions, regulatory hurdles and market uptake need to be anticipated and planned for.
  • Competition for executive talent needs to be addressed proactively or organizations could suffer from dangerous leadership vacuums.
  • Strategic investments, partnerships and policy support are crucial for the sector’s sustained growth.